Ryan Campbell cashed in on a cross in the 59th minute and New Jersey Copa FC received strong leadership from its backline in a critical 1-0 National Premier Soccer League Northeast Conference Keystone Division win over the Electric City Shock on June 18 at Saint John Vianney High School.
NJCFC’s center backs Jonathan Firmino and Nicholas Sica shared Jersey Mike’s Subs New Jersey Copa FC Men of the Match accolades after leading a defensive unit that allowed just six total shots and two on goal in the second clean sheet of the season. Alex Meny made two saves. Daniel Pizzimenti and Andrew Santos also contributed to the shutout.
NJCFC, playing for the second time in 24 hours after outlasting Greater Binghamton, 3-2, a day earlier, maintained at least second place in the division with 16 points and a 5-1-1 ledger.
Campbell, who had a game-high four shots, nearly put NJCFC in front on a header in the waning moments of the first half before finally converting late in the 59th minute. After a throw in from the far sideline, Mike Prosuk received the ball and crossed it to to Campbell whose attempt eluded Shock keeper Blake Hammert (two saves) inside the near left post.
Campbell’s winner was enough as Electric City did not have a shot on goal in the second half. The clubs had drawn 1-1 in Scranton on May 20.
Head Coach Roberto Aguas: “This was a hard-fought 1-0 NPSL win against a very solid and organized opponent. I thought we had some very good moments which could have turned this match even more in our favor. We now sit second in our conference and am proud of our effort this season so far. Our goal remains the same—make it into the playoffs and compete for a national championship.”
Jonathan Firmino: “We had a lot of communication in the back. We communicated throughout the back to the mids and that’s what led us to the clean sheet.”
In the second matchup this season between 2016’s top two Keystone Division rivals, NJCFC will look for the season sweep of the Clarkstown SC Eagles on Sunday, June 25 (4:30 p.m.) in Holmdel. New Jersey Copa won the first meeting this year, 1-0, on May 31.